-T / T / +T | Comment(s)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

European Regulators Dubious About Fuel Inerting

Even as Airbus gained certification from the EASA and FAA for its A380, European regulators rejected calls to fill empty fuel tanks with nitrogen, rendering fuel vapors inert to prevent explosions such as the one that felled TWA 800 in 1996. Meanwhile safety experts, including former NTSB Member Carol Carmody indicated exempting a plane the size of the A380 is a mistake. Airbus said its plane is not prone to the problems experienced aboard Flight 800 since it does not have a fuselage mounted fuel tank. For its part, FAA can do little since the aircraft is not registered in the U.S. The news comes a day after Parker Hannifan was awarded the contract to provide fuel-tank inerting systems for most of Airbus's product line from 2009. The $500 million contract comes in anticipation of impending rules on inerting. Parker's system uses air separation modules to inject nitrogen-rich air into the center fuel tank, reducing the flammability of fuel vapors in the tank. Airbus will use the system on new A320 family aircraft, A330/A340s and the A400M military transport. More 
Live chat by BoldChat